For the Love of Hemp: !WEPA! Farms featured in Hemp Grower

Hemp Grower Magazine, March 15, 2021

!WEPA Farms!, one of the five winners of 2019's i2 Accelerator Program launched by Merida and the Minority Cannabis Business Association, was featured recently as Hemp Grower magazine's March cover story. Luis Vega, founder and CEO of ¡WEPA! Farms, set out to help hemp reach its potential and now runs or manages 270 acres of hemp farmland, primarily in rural Shelton, Connecticut, an hour north of New York City.

When Connecticut legalized hemp production in 2019, the local farms Vega had already been working with decided to add hemp into their crop rotations. He was part of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s hemp pilot program, which launched in May 2019 (just a week after it was legalized). Vega was one of 109 growers awarded a license to cultivate hemp in Connecticut that year. After going through the months-long process of applying for and obtaining its license, the ¡WEPA! team was able to process its harvest throughout the winter of 2019.with support from the state of Connecticut as well as Merida and the MCBA, who invested $150,000 through its i2 Program.

MCBA and Merida launched i2 in 2019 to accelerate the development of minority-owned businesses in the cannabis and hemp industry by creating a meaningful executive mentorship program for underserved communities that could increase diversity and inclusiveness in key networks within the cannabis ecosystem and develop an infrastructure for entrepreneurs seeking capital.

Click here for the full in-depth profile.